Business > Merchant Voice

8 free or low-cost ways to market your website

Get the message about your business out there for next to nothing!

1. Print business cards with product descriptions

Next time you print business cards, squeeze it in a catchy description and/or images of what your website sells to help jog people’s memories. Or create a tiny “brochure” business card to showcase your wares. One of the best business cards I ever kept was from a publisher who made a mini-book of the covers of the lovely coffee table books he produced.

2. Print business cards with promotions

Create a series of business cards with exclusive offers on the back of them if they sign up to your newsletter, follow you on social media or upgrade to a premium product. Test the market and see what gets the best response.

3. Add social media, offers, news to your email signature

Surprisingly few businesspeople include their full address in their email signature. Not only is it a pain having to look up their contact details, it’s a wasted opportunity! Include your address details, website, social media and blog links. You could highlight your latest special offer, coupon code, award win, press release, survey, app, Youtube video, or an expo you’re exhibiting at or even current jobs at your company. Images always grab recipients’ attention.

4. Raise your profile in the media

Subscribe to the free journalists’ resources, Help A Reporter (HARO) in the US, and SourceBottle in Australia to receive daily requests for information about products and services for articles and blog posts which may be relevant to your business. Respond, and your company’s products and services may get featured online and/or in print. Good for SEO.

5. Raise other company profiles on your blog

If you write a blog, compile a list of the 10 Best widgets etc in your industry. Do a callout on HARO, SourceBottle or ResponseSource in the UK so PR reps and online retailers contact you to include their product. Once your post is up, ask them to promote your blog post link on their client’s facebook, Twitter and blogs! Very good for SEO!

6. Market your website in gift bags

HARO and SourceBottle (I can’t speak for ResponseSource as it’s not free to receive the callouts) also list event organisers who want samples and special offers for free gift bags distributed to attendees. You can pick and choose the events (from golf days to major gala charity events) in your ideal target markets, in quantities to suit you, from as little as 20 to 2,000 or more. It’s free and you can pick the events (although there’s no guarantee they’ll take your materials). Why not test the market for free?

7. Put promotions on your invoices

People might throw away direct mail, but no-one ever throws away an invoice! It is the one item which is closely scrutinised by up to five people, such as the receptionist who opens it, the account executive who marks it off, the CEO or owner who approves it, the accountant who pays it, and the bookkeeper who files it away. Create some attractive images to promote your latest product, a sale, survey, newsletter, or anything else you wish to publicise about your website on the invoice, and you have up to five people seeing it.

8. Include promotions with birthday cards

It’s rare to get a handwritten birthday card from someone other than your mother or grandmother. Send clients a card on their birthday and enclose a special offer with it. If they receive it at work, they’ll be so chuffed that even if they can’t use the voucher, they’ll proudly show the card, and maybe give the special offer to a colleague. I receive a lot of referred business this way.

Elizabeth Hollingsworth
Elizabeth Hollingsworth
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